In an age of uncertainty reflecting hopelessness and despair, society’s collective conscience cries out for change. Eager for answers to life’s pressing questions and for assurances of material prosperity, Americans are drawn to programs and personalities promising better, safer, more comfortable tomorrows.

Ironically, however, humanity with all its enlightened thinking and spaceage technology, has yet to provide an agenda for ushering in such a brave new world. Laws, quotas and freezes soothe over and, at times, solve crises. But beneath every crisis is a spiritual rebellion—a rebellion spelled out in Scripture, witnessed to throughout recorded history and keynoted by man’s selfishness. Only when people are right with God can they properly relate to themselves, to others, and to society. And thus, apart from God, mankind’s best efforts to change the world are merely limited human expressions.

As Christians, it is our divine responsibility to announce the good news that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (II Corinthians 5:18). But moreover, it is our responsibility to live out the change wrought in our lives through Jesus Christ by living in obedience to God’s standards—“to let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a stream” (Amos 5:24); to be “salt” and “light” (Matthew 5:14).

Such mandates stand in direct contrast to the conventional wisdom of the world. The reality of the radical change that came to our lives as believers in the risen Christ, cannot but prompt us to become Spirit-led and Spirit-filled catalysts for individual and societal change.

Let us, therefore, review our personal commitment to that message; and let us prayerfully, under the guidance of Holy Scripture, evaluate our attitudes and allegiances by what Christ had to say about the meaning of life in the light of eternity. Hence, we call upon all Evangelicals to change our world by adopting the Scriptural agenda of “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), and by reaching out to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

Genuine repentance and faith in Christ involve radical changes. We think differently, have different motivations, cherish different objectives, and accept new ideals. Our outlook on life is completely transformed. Values emerge appropriate to the eternal plans and purposes of God. Temporal goals are secondary. The Apostle Paul declares, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:7, NIV). Repentance demands the surrender of an ego-centered life that Christ may occupy first place.

Total repentance leads to uncompromising discipleship. It is no easy matter. C.S. Lewis writes, “Christ did not come to repair the house of our life, install new plumbing and lighting, and paint the exterior. On the contrary, he bulldozes down the old structure and builds a new one in its place.” For the Christian everything changes. The Bible says, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (II Cor. 5:17, NIV).

Our recognition of God’s just and righteous character and our submission to the Biblical principles of justice motivate us to change our world. Self-forgetful service replaces self-serving goals. A self-giving disposition eclipses self-assertive ambitions. The Church, the body of believers, must resist worldly domination.

History testifies to the glorious results of a revived and faithful church “Holding forth the Word of life” and consequently affecting the course of “crooked and perverse nations among whom it still shines as a light” (Phil. 2:15-16). Can we not confidently expect these same results today through the power of God?

The Church must speak anew. Through Christians, God wants to confront secular thought with a public voice boldly speaking out against specific sins and affirming positive Christian action.

The Church also must be ready with the proclamation if hope—that glorious hope which we have in Jesus Christ. It is needed by all.

These are the challenges that confront the Church as she proclaims the Gospel and its life-transforming power to all. Only personal regeneration through faith in Jesus Christ and a day by day commitment to Him will bring real change, a change bearing the eternal marks of the risen Christ.

The church was once known for “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The National Association of Evangelicals calls upon individual Christians and churches in our generation to “change your world” by penetrating every level of society with the life-changing message of the Gospel.